minister abe calls a snap election. the leaders of the worlds two biggest economies are talking face to face in beijing. >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama held talks with president xi jinping. the talks were the fourth between the two leaders since xi took office. xi is eager to make china a world power equal to the u.s. so a meeting with obama is a golden opportunity for him to impress the world. on tuesday night footage was released not only of the two leaders holding discussions but
also strolling side by side. in total they met for ten hours. obama has just suffered a crushing defeat in the mid term elections. so for obama, too, this was a good opportunity to show his leadership. following the meeting the two leaders emphasized the relationship between the two countries. >> translator: we should hold more dialogues to discuss issues facing the asia-pacific region rather than trying to deny each other. >> the united states wants the continuing rise of a china that is peaceful, prosperous and stable and plays a responsible role in the world. >> reporter: the two leaders announced their target to reduce
greenhouse gas emission. china and the u.s. are the world's largest polluters. by announcing their targets together they apparently wanted to show the world that they are willing to play a role in solving issues facing the international community. but it was not all hormonious. they were divided over china's increasing presence in the east and south china seas and continue protesting hong kong, calling for democratic elections. >> we are going to consistently speak out on the right of people to express themselves and encourage that the elections that take place in hong kong are transparent and fair. >> translator: it's illegal to occupy the streets in hong kong. what is going on there is solely a domestic issue. so foreign countries should
mettle. >> reporter: the ten hours xi spends with the u.s. president is about the same amount of time he spends at all apex meetings and other events. more time than that is needed for the two leaders to overcome their differences. nhk world, beijing. wednesday's talks were an attempt for easing tensions. a delicate topic that caused disunity at previous summits. >> reporter: security is tight here at the international convention center where the talks are taking place.
myanmar is hosting the summit for the first time since it joined in 1997. today it's at the center of the political stage. and many people here will surely be reflecting on how much their country has changed in just a few short years. wednesday's asean summit kicks off a series of meetings that will last for two days, how to contain any potential spread of ebola to the region and how to counter the influence of the islamic state militant group are most likely on the agenda. >> translator: we need to keep building and strengthening our capacity to tackle trans national issues such as climate change, disaster management, food, energy and water security, infectious diseases, preventing violence and extremism, cyber security and drug and human
trafficking. >> reporter: how asean members address the south china sea issue is getting most attention. aggravating tensions with asean members vietnam and the philippines. the contenchsis waters are said to be rich in natural resources. the leaders are also expected to address goals of further integrating the economy next year. the plan would create a massive economic community. the annual gatherings are attracting more attention globally as they bring together leaders from other countries in asia and beyond. thirst's east asia summit will include president barack obama and other leaders. maritime security and global economic trends will be issues to watch out for and we will keep you up to date on
developments. waiting to see if abe chooses to seek a fresh mandate. nhk world reports. >> reporter: prime minister abe is expected to decide by the end of this year whether to raise the consumption tax from 8% to 10% beginning in october 2015. he has been tight lipped about the possibility of sending japanese voters back to the polls. >> translator: i haven't decided anything about the timing for dissolving the lower house. i have never mentioned the timing of the dissolution.
>> reporter: the lawmakers among the ruling parties are stressing opinions that abe might postpone tax hike and call a lower house election. >> translator: the winds of dissolution will undoubtedly begin to blow. we will have proper and thorough arrangements in place if a lower house election is called. >> reporter: his liberal democratic party has already selected candidates for most of the 295 single constituencies. coalition partner has instructed party officials to be ready for an election. >> translator: there is a chance the lower house could be dissolved before the end of this year. i will get ready to deal with that possibility. >> reporter: opposition party leaders are also preparing to campaign. they say if abe dissolves the lower house it will be only to protect the interests of his party. >> translator: prime minister abe, you are free to dissolve the lower house if you really
can. we will take the challenge if that happens. >> translator: it's his choice whether to dissolve the lower house but it's the result of the mistakes he made on the economy. >> reporter: officials with the large opposition democratic party have chosen people to run in nearly half of the single seat districts and they say they will consult with other opposition parties to avoid fielding candidates in the same constituencies as they say it will likely benefit the ruling coalition. political observers say it is not clear if or when abe will call a general election but all parties face the task of preparing for an election that could happen with little warning. nhk world. >> ron madison is here with
more. >> lenders include hsbc, royal bank of scotland and ubs agreeing to pay fines more than $3 billion. markets are down across the region. london lower by 0.25%. in asia most markets did see gains. tokyo's nikkei post a fresh seven-year high. investors pretty optimistic about the japanese economy due to a possible delay in a planned sales tax hike. chinese shares moved higher. moving on to currencies. the dollar largely unchanged against the yen currently trading at 115.24. analysts say market players are staying on the sidelines until japanese prime minister abe decides whether to postpone the
tax increase. the gdp numbers are due out on monday. japanese electronics firm tosheba is suing a major chip maker and engineer for allegedly stealing research data. the first hearing was held on wednesday. the man quit san disk to work for another company. toshiba is demanding the engineer pay damages and the company pay more than $945 million and seeking an injunction to ban production and sales of chips made using the stolen data. they said the south korean firm mass produced high quality
memory chips quickly and cheaply and caused eremember nos damage to toshiba. the firm's representatives says it neither produces nor sells products using toshiba's data. the international trade fair is one of the largest events of its kind in africa. a record 30 japanese firms are taking part this year joining a total of 900 companies around the world. one major electronics firm is drawing attention. nigeria has overtaken south africa as the biggest economy. nigeria does face a variety of risks. boko haram is active there and the ebola virus has spread in nearby countries. >> translator: nigeria is a high risk but high return market.
companies that have advanced into the market despite the risks will get decent results. >> the official says many japanese countries see nigeria as a foot hold to advance. businesses have been getting advice about how to cope with security risks. officials from japan's foreign ministry and other organizations held an event in tokyo to help companies deal with those dangers. more than 150 business people and security experts attended. one expert said islamist groups are becoming more active and said business people need to be on guard against crimes such as kidnapping. >> translator: you become more worried if you don't have adequate information. we provide such information. we want company security staff to make informed decisions. a hostage crisis in algeria last year left 40 people dead
radioactive substances contaminated some of their crops and consumers are still reluctant to buy food from the area even if deemed safe. in this edition we look at how fukushima farmers are managing this harvest. >> date city is 30 kilometers east of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. the main economic activity of the town is farming. many people here grow rice. farmers must bring all their produce to this facility for radiation checks. this year 210,000 bags of rice were harvested within date. many consumers still shy away from rice harvested in fukushima. consumers bought just 20% of fukushima prefecture rice that was put on the market last year. officials check every bag with radiation detectors. the central government's limit for radioactive substances in food is 100 becquerels. but fukushima prefecture has set a stricter limit of 60 becquerels.
farmers cannot sell items that exceed this level. nothing over the limit has yet turned up at this testing center. but they say they will continue to check every single bag of rice. >> translator: sure, it is costly to check everything so thoroughly. but we believe it's necessary for the peace of mind of the people who eat our rice. >> reporter: agriculture has long been the prefecture's economic backbone. in the year before the disaster, fukushima's farmers cultivated $2 billion worth of produce. the figure plummeted by more than $400 million in the wake of the disaster. farmers couldn't use the fields that had been contaminated. thorough decontamination and exhaustive radiation checks have gradually helped reverse the trend.
agricultural output began to recover in 2012 but was $300 million short of the pre-disaster amount. farmers say they need to do more to overcome the concerns of consumers. and for some farmers, radiation does continue to pose a problem. koichi sato grows fruit. another important crop for date. his main source of revenue in the winter month used to be dried fruit. ampo dried persimmons are a regional speciality and are an important source of income during the low season. sato and other farmers make team by smoking and drying persimmons for about a month. workers decontaminated all 250,000 of the persimmon trees. but radiation levels are still too high. there is a reason for that.
>> translator: drying persimmons concentrates the contamination by a factor of four or five. so 10 becquerels in raw fruit becomes 50 or 60 becquerels when it's dried. >> reporter: this year after three years of decontamination work radiation levels in sato's fruit have dropped low enough for him to start making ampo again. >> translator: the time has finally come. i'm really happy to start shipping persimmons again. >> reporter: but only a portion of sato's products have been cleared to sell. he's still waiting for radiation levels to drop on other parts of his land. and other farmers are also waiting for the levels to fall within the standard. they're putting their faith and efforts into the radiation tests and hoping that over time they can restore people's confidence in their produce.
some people in japan are angry about a decision that can pave the way for the restart of a nuclear plant. more than 400 people objected to a ruling that allows operators to make changes at the plant. the alterations are said to satisfy new stricter regulations. many people who live around the plant added the names to the formal objection demanding regulators revoke the decisions. opponents say the plan operator hasn't made adequate readiness for an earthquake. the people in charge of the
plant -- with a controversial article. they say a front page story about the accident at the fukushima nuclear plant contained serious errors. editors ran a report based on testimony from a former plant chief. the report says 90% of the people fled. the transcript shows he came to believe that going to the other plant was the right thing to do. the editors retracted the report and said it included mistakes and set up an investigative panel. panel members released the results of their review on the
website on wednesday. they said the report lacked impartiality and was inaccurate and said the paper's retraction was an appropriate response. editors released a statement saying they feel grave responsibility for making such errors and apologized to the staff at the fukushima plant and the public. government officials in india have been promoting a sterilization program as a way of controlling the population boom. 11 women have died and 60 more treated in the hospital in the central city. they complain of nausea and stomach pain after undergoing the operation. officials have not determined what caused the deaths or illnesses. experts say there are cases where surgical equipment is not properly disinfected.
the prime minister ordered local officials to conduct a thorough investigation. health ministry officials say 4 million people had been sterilized under the program and 98% of them were women. each person who took part received about $22. many people condemn the sterilization drives. the director of the reproductive rights initiative at the human rights law network in new delhi and says social issues are at the root of the problem. >> there is no attention to women's fundamental rights. that means women's rights to primary health care and a wide range of contraceptive information and services and women's rights to counseling and to make choices about their own body. at the same time you have a
government and health system who is really obsessed with population control. the third thing is that you are doing all of this in a public health system that can't support it. so you are bringing 80 women into a facility where there aren't proper tools, isn't enough staff, aren't emergency provisions. lastly, you are also not involving men in any way in family planning conversations. the government needs to respect women's fundamental rights, respect women's reproductive rights. in order to do that the government needs to have a substantial and significant cultural change. floods continue to sweep through italy. our meteorologist jonathan oh is here. >> we have been talking about a consistent low pressure system that has continued to bring lots of rain.
flooding is a serious problem for italy right now. at least two people have been killed because of the flooding. let me show you what it is looking like on the ground level. days of heavy rainfall have left parts of northern italy under water this week leaving at least two people dead. many homes damaged in the process. an elderly couple believed to have been swept away by a mudslide while traveling in their car. flood waters flowed into several towns causing people to wade through them. many residents and shop owners trying desperately to stop. more than 200 millimeters of rain reported in just eight hours in one location. the problem is emergency workers are having problems getting to the locations because of the roadways being blocked off and completely cut off because of the water flowing in the area. this low pressure system doesn't look like it is going to go anywhere. it is continuing to push towards the east but at a very slow pace
and redeveloping because it is pulling in moisture from the south. back towards the west a cold front from a low in the north atlantic filtering more moisture. that interaction is continuing to generate more rainfall and that's going to be a real problem as we go throughout the next few days. i don't think it will let up anytime soon in italy. the rain is spreading into places like athens. rain from london extending into the iberian peninsula. we are talking about cold and snowy weather in parts of north america because of a cold front along with a long digging jet stream that is pulling in all of the cold air into the central portions of the united states. this is how dramatic the temperature drops have been, up to 20 degree in change over 24 hours. dallas 26 to around 9 degrees from monday into tuesday. denver from 17 down to negative 9 degrees. it is a big drop.
even more colder temperatures are expected as we go into wednesday. 20 degree drop from the great lakes down into areas like mississippi and louisiana and further towards the east wednesday to thursday a ten degree drop for the eastern seaboard. we are talking about very cold temperatures and winter storm concerns over into ontario. look at the high here, negative 13. negative 7 in winnipeg down to 1 degree in chicago as we go through wednesday. now, we are talking about the possibility of snow in some parts of japan as we look at the forecast in east asia. a low pressure system is dragging into cold air and moisture. i think we see a chance for snow late thursday into friday. cold temperatures jumping into places like seoul with a high of only 5 degrees on thursday. hope you have a good day wherever yo aare. here is your extended outlook.
>> all systems go for the first ever space landing on a comet. mcinnis to dissent to said -- to shed new light on one of the greatest mysteries of the solar system. to historic gas emissions. of a mosquend floor in a west bank village is destroyed by fire. local palestinian officials say jewish settlers started the blaze. also coming up in